From NetEase Blog by Zhang Yanbin (臧彦彬):
This morning heard the news of Michael Jackson’s death I felt sorrow and regret. This world lost a great musician.
Jackson is the representative of an era. He represented a prosperous era, this era is irreplaceable. I feel very lucky to be the one who first officially introduced Jackson’s music to people of China in 1994.
From the 80’s China’s music begun to enter the era of rapid development. In the late 80’s, Hong Kong and Taiwan pop music has become very prosperous. Until the mid-90s music prosperity continued its growth. Music brought unprecedented excitement in the land of China.
The early 90’s music has become a variety of expressions. In order to meet the needs of different music, my company Shanghai Sheng Xiang (Shanghai Audio-Video Press) cooperated with Sony. Sony brought us a lot of good music around the world, in which Jackson’s music shocked us the most.
When Sony introduced Jackson’s “Dangerous” to us, I was deeply attracted to it. It is different from any kind of music at the time, the fresh elements were stunning. “Black and White” and “Heal the World” has deeper meanings than just simple music and songs. There is also the calling of peace and justice, which is the pursuit of all human being around the world. Such good music should belong to the world. In order to allow more fans to enjoy this excellent album, after our careful fully preparation, we submitted our application to the relevant departments to request this album to be released in China. When submitting the application I was very ill at ease, worried, after all there are certain conflicts between the Chinese and Western culture. But it turned out that my worries were not needed, not for long “Dangerous” passed the audit smoothly.
Releasing this album, Sony gave us a great discount and many benefits. Cost was far less than what they gave other countries. Although this was Michael Jackson’s fist album in China, Sony thought that this is not a simple business deal but an effort to open up an era. However with the discount Jackson’s album cost was still more than double as much as the Hong Kong and Taiwan popular singers’ album at the time. Therefore the market price for album “Dangerous” was also higher.
When preparing this album, I had no hope to make money. Although Michael Jackson was famous from an early age, as early as 1979 he won the Grammy Award for “Best Male R & B Vocal performance” he had very good reputation in the world, but after all this was still first time introduce his album to China. We could not predict the market reaction so this was considered to be a risky move. At that time I thought as long as we don’t lose money, I have to bring Jackson’s music to the Chinese people, so Chinese people can enjoy his beautiful songs.
In 1994, we launched this album, first released 200,000 copies, there were also a lot of money invested on publicity. The result surprised me, first 200,000 copies sold out quickly. We quickly released more copies. In a short span of one year “Dangerous” reached sales of 400,000 copies. This number was a considerable figure. The hottest “Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop” album only sells one million. None of us expected that Jackson’s music sold half has much as those guys on the first time entering China.
After this Jackson started his mythical era in China. His records have never declined in sales they were always on the best sellers’ list. His music had a huge impact in the world. After that, to be called 3 Ms: Michael Jackson, Madonna and MTV created music videos, changed the music’s dynamics all together. We can not only enjoy music by listening to them but also by watch the music videos. Music has entered into a new era. The contribution by Jackson on music is far beyond anyone’s reach and is irreplaceable by anyone in the world.
Jackson’s death puts the world into deep grief. Some of his scandals in the late stage of his live have becoming insignificant. This is not because of his departure, but because of his unique appeal. He is truly one of kind, is worth us to be sad and regret. The impact he had on us, we will always remember, never forget.
As the first one to introduce Jackson’s music to mainland China, I would like to say that 1994’s record came too late. But to be the first, is really wonderful.
Jackson, Good bye.